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  • REVIEW A REVIEW In

    Filed at 12:43 pm under by dcobranchi

    REVIEW A REVIEW In the Fall Edition, Education Next reviews Kingdom of Children: Culture and Controversy in the Homeschooling Movement by Mitchell L. Stevens. The review is pretty glowing but I have to question some of the (admittedly second hand) claims:

    Christian home schoolers (members of evangelical and Baptist congregations), whom Stevens estimates make up as much as 80 percent of the home-schooling families…

    I know this can’t be right. 80 percent Baptist and evangelicals? I think the actual number is about half that (I can’t put my hands on the data. Does anyone have a link?)

    There is a second group of home schoolers, whom Stevens calls the “inclusives,” a broad category that covers left-wing and counterculture groups as well as Jews, Catholics, and mainstream Protestants who are not comfortable with the Christian home schoolers’ pietistic style. Inclusives, especially the nonreligious majority, tend to emphasize child-directed learning via projects and self-guided work and are much less comfortable with anyone, including a parent, lecturing to students or with students’ learning through textbooks.

    I guess he means “unschoolers” here. I know a lot of “Jews, Catholics, and mainstream Protestants” who school-at-home and some evangelicals who unschool. I think he’s creating artificial distinctions here.

    The more left-wing women among the inclusives are often well educated but dedicated to living counterculture lives. They are self-sufficient mothers who have bonded so deeply with their children that they cannot bear to entrust their education to anyone else. Mothers (and sometimes fathers) find ways to make modest livings, often in counterculture food and crafts organizations.

    This graf is just confusing. Is the implication that the more right-wing women are less well-educated? And how ’bout those even further-right-wing “Christian” HSers? We must be plain ignorant. Yeah, I’m lurnning to reed rite thar with my kids. Homeskooling werks reel good!

    I’ll probably read the book anyway.

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